Rainbow Lounge Timeline

Posted on 20 Aug 2009 at 4:52pm
This photo taken by Chuck Potter shows the arrest of Chad Gibson.

During a pre-council meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 18, Fort Worth Police Chief Jeffrey Halstead presented to council members a detailed timeline of the incidents and discussions leading up to the June 28 arrests at the Rainbow Lounge.

That timeline, taken from a statement released to the press by Halstead, is below.

First Rainbow Lounge Incident

• On Friday, June 26, at approximately 12:45 a.m. Fort Worth Police officers, along with TABC agents, encountered an individual leaving the Rainbow Lounge.

• According to the police report officers observed this individual attempting to unlock his car in the parking lot. He appeared to be intoxicated. Officers asked him to return to the bar and find a ride home.

• The officers and agents left the area to answer calls for service.

• Thirty minutes later officers returned and found this same individual passed out behind the wheel of his car in the 700 block of May Street, which is one block east from the Rainbow Lounge.

• On Saturday, June 27, officers attended roll call at the beginning of the shift where they discussed the arrest of the individual from the night before leaving the Rainbow Lounge.

• During roll call officers also discussed the Rosedale Saloon and the Cowboy Palace as having significant issues with serving alcohol to intoxicated patrons.

• Based on this discussion the supervisor made the decision to conduct premises checks on those three locations on Saturday night which led into early Sunday morning, June 28.

Officers Return To Rainbow Lounge

• On Saturday, June 27, at 11:30 p.m., five Fort Worth officers, one Fort Worth sergeant, and two TABC agents met in a nearby parking lot and held an informal briefing. It was determined that officers would go to the Rosedale Saloon and the Cowboy Palace first then to the Rainbow Lounge.

A total of five Fort Worth Police marked cars, including a prisoner transport van, and one TABC black Ford Crown Victoria was used to go to the locations.

• On June 28, at approximately 12:14 a.m. officers arrived at the Rosedale Saloon and the Cowboy Palace. One Fort Worth traffic officer arrived in a marked police car at 12:15 a.m. to assist.

While there, nine public intoxication arrests were made. The nine individuals arrested were placed in the prisoner transport van.

• At approximately 1:28 a.m. officers and TABC agents arrived at the Rainbow Lounge. They were in six marked Fort Worth police cars, including one prisoner transport van, and one TABC black Crown Victoria.

Five Fort Worth officers, one Fort Worth sergeant, and two TABC agents entered the Rainbow Lounge.

• While inside the Rainbow Lounge two Fort Worth police officers and one TABC agent went to the back patio and encountered an individual who appeared to be intoxicated. He was escorted outside to the prisoner transport van and later released after determining he was not a danger to himself or others.

• A Fort Worth officer returned inside from the prisoner transport van and encountered an individual next to the steps that lead to the VIP room. According to the officer’s observations, this individual appeared to be intoxicated and had to be held up by a female friend.

• The Fort Worth officer directed this individual to sit down due to his condition, however he refused.

• The Fort Worth officer attempted to arrest and handcuff him, however he resisted and a physical struggle ensued. During the struggle the officer and the suspect bounced off of the walls and went through the men’s restroom door.

• At 1:56:48 a.m. the officer called for help over the police radio.

• At 1:57:06 a.m. the officer called for help a second time over the police radio.

• The Fort Worth officer pulled the individual out of the men’s restroom and placed him on the floor in the hallway.

• Backup officers arrived and the individual was handcuffed and escorted outside.

The Arrest of Chad Gibson

• Immediately following this arrest, TABC agents were observed struggling with an individual just outside of the men’s restroom. This individual was later identified as Chad Gibson.

• A Fort Worth officer applied an infra-orbital pressure point technique [Halstead explained this means the officer used the base of his palm to press upward on the area between Gibson's nose and upper lip] in an attempt to gain compliance from Gibson, however it was unsuccessful.

• The TABC agents took Gibson to the floor where he was handcuffed and then escorted outside.

• According to witnesses, Gibson walked on his own accord as he was escorted outside.

• There are conflicting stories among witnesses as to whether Gibson received injuries during his arrest inside the hallway.

• Gibson was escorted outside to the prisoner transport van. A TABC agent stood with Gibson at the prisoner transport van while the other TABC agent and the Fort Worth officer left. Gibson’s hands where handcuffed behind his back.

• According to the TABC agent, Gibson vomited, then lost control of his balance and fell, hitting his head on the ground.

• An independent witness confirmed they saw Gibson standing outside the prisoner transport van in handcuffs with one TABC agent when Gibson fell to the ground hitting his head.

• Paramedics were summoned to make the location in order to assist Gibson who was subsequently transported to the hospital for possible alcohol poisoning and a head injury.

• Gibson was subsequently charged with public intoxication and assault.

Arrests Continue

• One female was arrested for public intoxication after a Fort Worth officer observed her with a glass beer bottle in each hand leaning her hips forward making physical contact with a Fort Worth police sergeant.

• The officer pulled her away by the back of her shirt. According to the officer, she had bloodshot, watery eyes, a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from her breath, and was unable to control her balance.

• This individual admitted to physically contacting the sergeant and stated that she was only playing around with him.

• While assisting a TABC agent with another public intoxication arrest, a Fort Worth officer felt someone pushing up against his gun. The officer turned and observed a male patron with bloodshot, watery eyes and a strong odor of alcoholic beverage coming from his breath. This individual was arrested for public intoxication and escorted outside to the prisoner transport van.

• One other individual was observed by a Fort Worth officer swaying back and forth against the outside wall of the bar.

• According to the officer, this individual’s balance was unsteady and he had a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on his breath. He was placed under arrest for public intoxication by one of the TABC agents and escorted to the prisoner van.

• On June 28, seven people were placed in handcuffs and/or flex cuffs and escorted outside. One individual was released. The other six were charged with public intoxication with an additional charge of assault by contact placed on Chad Gibson.

• This summary takes into account over 35 witness interviews, 10 officer interviews, and the TABC report.

• Each witness interview was made under sworn affidavit and was recorded.

Editor’s note: Although it is not included in this report, Halstead said in his report to Fort Worth City Council members on Tuesday, Aug. 18, that he has learned of testimony from other witnesses, including C.P.A. Tom Annable, that as many as 20 people total were put in plastic handcuff restraints during the incident at the Rainbow Lounge, although only seven were later charged. Annable said Tuesday that he and others in Fairness Fort Worth had been told that information was not included in officers’ reports of the incident.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition August 21, 2009.

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